March 3, 2013

The House: Part 04: Hardwood Floors, Before and After



While the first order of business on Fletcher Avenue was to simply clean up the place (we filled two massive dumpsters), the next item on the agenda was to restore the downstairs floors to their original state of intent, which seemed like a pretty straightforward idea. Carpet covered the dining room, living room and Stella's bedroom. The front parlor room (our bedroom) and Leo's bedroom were covered with old 12" X 12" tiles. The kitchen was covered with linoleum. Six rooms, 1464 square feet.

We had no idea. :)

Underneath the carpet in the living room was more 12" X 12" tiles and underneath those tiles was a layer of hardened glue that was 1/8" thick and underneath that was a thick layer of black tar paper.  Underneath the tile in Leo's room, our room and the kitchen was more of the same. Underneath the carpet in Stella's room was a layer of particle board that featured nine nails per square foot of board, which means each square foot was removed one nail at a time.

After trying just about every tool imaginable to get up the glue and tar paper, and enough Google searches and forum reading to last several days, we finally found the best tool for scraping up the tar paper was a good old fashioned paint scraper. So we got on our knees and scraped, inch by inch, hour after hour, until finally we had all six rooms completed (with lots of help from family, friends and some day laborers) and ready for the finish to go on. Our hard work paid off in the form of original 1870 poplar floors, which are vibrant in color and full of character.

BEFORE:

Looking towards the dining room. Taken on our first day in the house.

The tar paper in the living room.

This was after we used boiling water and a chisel, which didn't do much of anything. We also tried a heat gun and a wallpaper steamer.

After five hours of scraping, I was able to sand this little section. Those beautiful green and vanilla colors are what kept us going.

After another full day in the living room.

Getting closer!

View of our bedroom, with living room and dining room behind it. The bedroom had as much of the black tar as the living room. This was the last shot taken before the finish went on the entire downstairs.


AFTER: 



22 comments:

Caroline said...

Wowza. I would have given up but I'm so glad you didn't. Those look amazing. I want to send you icey pack for your backs just reading about all that.

Em said...

wow amazing!

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that, SOOOOOOOOOO worth the effort!! Looks gorgeous!!

scrapandsalvage said...

YOWZA!!!!! you guys are rock stars!!! it looks so dreamy! well done, family jackson! xo

Mel & Co. said...

wowo!!!!! so amazing guys! xo

Nathalie said...

You guys kick ass! AMAZING!

christin said...

Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

what an effort! but worth every pained lower back, bruised knee, and swear word uttered!
congratulations! what a lovely home you are creating!

Brooke said...

I think I would have given up too. Worth the effort, for sure. Looks so beautiful.

Mama Bear said...

Wow. That is a crazy amount of work. It is beautiful!

Beck said...

GORGEOUS. What a fantastic finished product!

kerry kind said...

The result is beautiful, but it becomes incredibly beautiful when one thinks of the care, effort, and commitment that you both gave to make this happen. Work done with a heart to create or restore beauty is noble, and a form of worship.

Martie V. said...

Amazingly beautiful! Thank you for saving this wonderful home!

Suzanne said...

WOW!! So beautiful!

John said...

I was there part of the time. Your commitment to bring this house back to life comes with a massive investment of time and effort, doesn't it! You should be proud.

rosaleebills said...

Stunning transformation! Those floors look so beautiful!! It looks so cozy and your belongings fit perfectly. Thanks fo rthe photos!

Jaena said...

Wow. Incredible! Nice work.

Amanda Callen said...

This is AMAZING!!!! Great job Josh, Kari, Julie and team! :)

Laura Beck said...

You guys are serious badasses. The floors look incredible!!

Anonymous said...

Beauty from ashes...

loribeth said...

I can't even begin to imagine how much work that must have been. But the results are spectacular!

andrea said...

Those floors look unbelievably beautiful. A+ for work ethic, commitment, follow through and vision. It was fun to scroll down and see the finished product - maybe this is what you anticipated, but it was better than I imagined it would be! Keep chronicling the transformations to your home - I love it!

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